Free Will Astrology: November 3 through 9
ARIES [March 21–April 19] In In Search of Lost Time, a character makes a vulgar observation about the odd attractions that sometimes come over us human beings: "Anyone who falls in love with a dog's behind will mistake it for a rose." It's my duty to point out that the opposite occurs, too. People may think a marvelous thing is worthless, and dislike it or ignore it as a result. My advice to you, Aries, is to avoid both of these errors in the coming week.
TAURUS [April 20–May 20] Poet Paul Eluard frequently fantasized and wrote about his dream woman, but he never actually found her. "The cards have predicted that I would meet her but not recognize her," he said. So he contented himself with being in love with love. I think he made a sound decision that many of us should consider emulating: It's a losing proposition to wait around hoping for a dream lover to show up in our lives, since no one can ever match the idealized image we carry around in our imagination. Having said all that, Taurus, I'm happy to inform you that the next two months will be prime time for you to cultivate your connection with an imperfect beauty who's good for you.
GEMINI [May 21–June 20] When you begin treatment with a homeopathic doctor, his task is to determine your "constitutional," the remedy that serves as your fundamental medicine. Mine used to be "aurum," or gold, but due to certain shifts in my energy, my doctor changed it to "lac lupinum," or wolf's milk. I'm guessing that you might need a similar adjustment. Your body's needs seem to be evolving. Consider making some changes in the food you eat, the sleep you get, the exercise you do, and the love you stir up.
CANCER [June 21–July 22] "Freedom is in the unknown," said philosopher John C. Lilly. "If you believe there is an unknown everywhere, in your own body, in your relationships with other people, in political institutions, in the universe, then you have maximum freedom." I think this is the most important thought you could meditate on right now, Cancerian. You are close to summoning the magic that would allow you to revel in what's unknown about everything and everyone you love. And that would dramatically invigorate your instinct for freedom.
LEO [July 23–August 22] The first time I ever planted a garden was last summer. The soil in my backyard was hard clay that I could barely penetrate. Luckily, a helpful clerk at the garden store revealed a solution: gypsum. All I had to do was pour the white powder on my intransigent dirt and wet it down for a few days. The stuff performed as advertised on the package: It "worked like millions of tiny hoes," loosening the heavy clay. A week later, I was able to begin planting. In the coming days, Leo, I think you could benefit from the metaphorical equivalent of a million tiny hoes. You've got to break down a hard surface to create a soft bed for your seeds.
VIRGO [August 23–September 22] Recent research suggests that yawning raises alertness, enhances cognitive awareness, reduces stress, and strengthens the part of the brain that feels empathy. Andrew Newburg, MD, goes so far as to recommend that you regularly induce yawns. He says it helps you solve problems, increases your efficiency, and intensifies your spiritual experiences. So here's my advice, Virgo. During the current phase of your astrological cycle—which is a time when self-improvement activities are especially favored—you should experiment with recreational yawning.
LIBRA [September 23–October 22] Check out this haiku by Mizuhara Shuoshi, translated from the Japanese by William J. Higginson: "stuck in a vase/deep mountain magnolia/blossoms open." Does that remind you of anyone? It should. I think it pretty much sums up your current situation. More accurately, it captures the best possible scenario you can strive to achieve, given your circumstances. Yes, there are limitations you have to deal with right now: being in the vase. And yet there's no reason you can't bloom like a deep mountain magnolia.
SCORPIO [October 23–November 21] Technorati, a search engine for blogs, says there are well over 100 million blogs on the Internet, and that figure doesn't include millions of Chinese-language blogs. So self-expression is thriving on a global scale, right? Not exactly. Most blogs—the estimate is 94 percent—have not been updated for at least four months. In accordance with the current astrological indicators, Scorpio, I expect you to do something about this problem. Refresh your blog in the coming week, or consider launching one if you don't have one. But don't stop there. Use every other way you can imagine to show the world who you are. Be articulate and demonstrative and revelatory.
SAGITTARIUS [November 22–December 21] I think you can handle more hubbub and uproar than you realize. I also suspect you're capable of integrating more novelty, and at a faster rate, than the members of all the other signs of the zodiac. That's why I think you should consider interpreting what's happening in your life right now as "interesting adventures" instead of "disorienting chaos." The entire universe is set up to help you thrive on what non-Sagittarians might regard as stressful.
CAPRICORN [December 22–January 19] "Dear Rob: My boyfriend's heart is in the right place. He likes to give me flowers. The only trouble is, the bouquets he brings are homely. A recent batch was a hodgepodge of blue delphiniums, white carnations, and red geraniums. Is there any way to steer him in a more aesthetically correct direction without deflating his tender kindness? —Unsatisfied Capricorn." Dear Unsatisfied: In my astrological opinion, one of the tasks you Capricorns should be concerned with right now is learning to love the gifts that people want to give you. Maybe at a later date you can start training them to provide you with exactly what you want. But for the moment, it won't kill you to simply welcome and celebrate their generosity.
AQUARIUS [January 20–February 18] Your new vocabulary word for the week is "skookum," a term from the Chinook Indians that is still used in some parts of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. My astrological colleague Caroline Casey says it means "in cahoots with good spirits" and "completely made for the job." Wikipedia suggests that when you're skookum, you've got a clear purpose and are standing in your power spot. According to my reading of the omens, Aquarius, these definitions of skookum fit you pretty well right now. (PS: When skookum is used to describe food, it means delicious and hearty, which could definitely be applied to you if you were edible.)
PISCES [February 19–March 20] In the coming days, it's crucial for you to be spontaneous but not rash. Do you know the distinction? Read the words of psychologist Abraham Maslow: "Spontaneity (the impulses from our best self) gets confused with impulsivity and acting-out (the impulses from our sick self), and there is then no way to tell the difference." Be sure you stay true to the vitalizing prompts arising from your inner genius, Pisces—not the distorted compulsions erupting from your inner maniac.
Homework: Imagine that, thanks to scientific breakthroughs and good luck, you're still alive in 2090. What's your life like? Testify at Truthrooster@gmail.com.
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